Divorcing the Transgender Community

When we first started the idea of WBT (Women Born Transsexual) back at the end of 2000 we were denounced as traitors to “The Community” for daring to propose a few simple ideas:  1. Transsexual was something you were born with, a medical condition amenable to medical treatment.  2. That after transition we were women, not trans-women.  3. That there was never A Trans-community but rather many different trans-communities. 4. We did not accept the “Transgender Identity” and saw it as a trap that kept us from assimilating into post-op lives as ordinary women or men in the case of F to M people.

In short nearly 20 years ago we divorced ourselves from the “Transgender Community”.  Not from from caring about friends and or strangers who see the “Transgender Community” as a path to liberation but rather from the on-line political games of purity and proper thinking.

It has been one year shy of 50 years since I first started hormones and began transition.  It took only a couple of years after SRS to start leaving the community and moving to the lesbian feminist community.

People are surprised when they discover the same thing happening in their own lives, many of the most vocal activists of even ten years ago have found that life has given them new priorities.

The following article is by yet another woman who has discovered a life post-trans.

From Tablet Magazine:  http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/257446/divorcing-the-transgender-community

I thought I’d found a warm and supportive home, but being Jewish made that difficult

By Gretchen Rachel Hammond
March 13, 2018

“You’re a fucking kike!”

It was not a single thought expelled in one, rapid sentence, and the tone was so much more than mere hatred. It was maniacal rage that curled around each word and threw it down the speaker of my phone before pausing to pick up another. The last sharpened piece of flint was aimed directly at my head with relish.

I’m usually very good at come-backs. I am a movie fanatic. Rather than the occasional piece of annoyingly catchy music which shows up like a mosquito on a summer evening to persistently circle around one’s ear, my days tend to recall random pieces of screenplay that match how I’m feeling. Thus, I have a library of borrowed quotes for every occasion.

The caller did not immediately hang up. They were waiting for a response. Maybe something from Eric Bogosian?

“Tell me something. I’m curious. How do you dial a phone with a straitjacket on?”

Or Bob Clark?

“You aren’t even smart enough to be a good bigot!”

Either would have done. Anything would have done. Instead of just sitting there in thunder-stuck, ineffectual silence.

It was June 28, 2017, and I was an adult, but I might as well have been my 11-year-old, effeminate, half-Indian school-kid self again, reliving the day in 1981 when at least a half-dozen of my classmates at North Cestrian Grammar School in Manchester, England telegraphed their latest attack with “Paki Puff!”

It was their invitation for me to run. They liked it when I ran because it marked the beginning of the hunt and I was always the easiest prey to catch.

That morning, I didn’t manage to get out of my chair fast enough. So, they picked me up and sandwiched me between the wall and the heavy wooden classroom door. With their collective weight, they pressed against it until I could not move and then could not breath. I grew increasingly more faint; unaware of the blood streaming from my nose which bore the brunt of the first assault. If their look-out hadn’t suddenly yelled the name of an oncoming teacher, they would have killed me.

You would think, in 36 years, I might have learned something about fighting back.

But as I gripped the phone, my breath stopped in my throat. Any physical or mental defenses were useless.

I recognized the voice of my attacker—a transgender person who participated in a transgender liberation rally in Chicago that I had covered earlier in the year in my capacity as a reporter for the city’s LGBTQ newspaper.

Members of the transgender community filled the frozen streets of the Chicago loop that night to demand their civil rights and fight back against society’s bullies; something that had become a life goal since my school-days.

Now that I was the focus of their rancor, ‘paki’ had become ‘kike.’ The boys behind the door were members of my own community, and I didn’t know what the hell to do or feel about it.

For four years, I had watched the transgender community eat its own to the point where becoming dinner was accepted as an inherent risk of belonging to it. As the call continued, I didn’t feel like dinner so much as the scraps thrown down the garbage disposal.

“What did you say?” I finally whispered.

The invitation was accepted for the door to be pressed harder.

“Oh, you fuckin’ heard me. Your story was a lie and your bitch ass is finished as a reporter.”

“Why are you doing this?” I was beginning to shake. “It wasn’t a lie….and I know you…I….”

The voice was gone.

Continue reading at:  http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/257446/divorcing-the-transgender-community

12 Responses to “Divorcing the Transgender Community”

  1. Karen Says:

    The internecine battles were not just between TS/TGs etc … but there was a lot of intolerance between TSes.. which seen to divide into smaller subgroups…

    Things really started getting nasty in the late 90’s… Remember what happened to alt.support.SRS?

    Heck I even remember someone call me a ‘skin-transvestite’ because I stayed married! 😉

    In any case much of the “combat” was between post-ops (or least least those who said they were post-op – and I think most were.). Then there was the self destruction of Michelle’s Post-op mailing list over lifestyle issues…

    And after that the HBS extremists…

    It seem that everyone was thinking the only ‘true’ TSes were people who did things they way they did, that had the same priorities they did…ut vs stealth, het vs lesbian etc etc…

    And then throw in the whole TG/Non Binary segments i and well it is no wonder what at one time was supportive community (and at one time I DID feel there was a supportive community) seems to have evaporated in endless wars…

    But I do think few if any can truly 100% put having changed sex behind where it does not have any remaining effect on who they are… so there is still a need to sometime share with others who have walked this path… but it’s a need that potentially opens one up to a lot of hurt if indulged… and that is unfortunate.

    These days I look at a couple of boards but post a lot. In in my early 60’s now and tired of all the drama

    – karen

    • Suzan Says:

      I plead guilty and ask forgiveness.

      As I tried to say it isn’t so much a matter of forgetting about the past. Or even never having anything to do with other TS/TG folks but more a matter of no longer having it dominate your life. I sort of feel the same about the whole LGBT “Community” thing. I’m old and now there are those who are young who have to take up the reins, the struggle. Hopefully along the way I did some positive things to make the world a better place.

      Hopefully I have a few more contributions left to make, but Tina and I also have our lives to live and being a senior citizen is its own struggle.

  2. Sharon Sinéad Gaughan Says:

    I transitioned over twenty years ago. Before that, I spent even more years of ambiguity while I cleared up a series of medical issues. Following my hormonal reconstitution and surgeries, I went to one place: the mainstream.

    Even while at times actively trying to bring scientific sanity to bear on TS-born transition issues, I spent most of my time in the mainstream. I like it there. We have friends (only a few of which are TS-born). There are dozens of people in my neighborhood who know me by my first name.

    Lisa and I are not flush with material things, but we have the love and respect of our community, and each other. We made a good life over the past 15 years, and we intend to keep it.

    • Suzan Says:

      Time changes things, yet I still have interests I had as a child and young adult. I love reading, art, photography, playing guitar, history. I’m still the hippie I was at ten years old, a decade before they coined the label “hippie”.

      I still care about the same issues I cared about as a young adult. That is why I am so pissed off with many of the “Progressives” who don’t seem to care too much about freedom or rights, are antisemites and really don’t much like proles who have fallen out of the middle class and wind up working in big box stores.

      I still care about feminist issues and LGBT concerns but marriage equality let Tina and I get married and much of the “Community” activity is for the young and not for long time married couples.

      I never bought the “Transgender Identity” bit. I liked transsexual with all its medical connotations because treatment was something that took place over a finite period of time and allowed one to close that chapter of one’s life and open another fresh chapter after.

      Interestingly enough over the last couple of years I have become reacquainted with family and with some friends from high school and places where I grew up. Aside from some telling me how bad they felt to see me have to take the abuse I suffered for being a transkid the subject of my having been anything other than a girl/woman has rarely been raised. When it has, it has been to tell me what asses my parents were for the way they treated me.

      I see the current “Transgender Community” as a trap that crushes individuality and prevents people from the becoming that is part of the process.

      I suspect the transkids of today who have transitioned as children will see little use for “The Community” and its self appointed self-important leaders.

  3. Karen Says:

    Hi Suzy,

    Outside of the ‘skin transvestite’ remark (which was meant as a gentle tease not criticism – hence the smilie) I really was not referring to you.

    Others were the primary cause of most of the in-fighting and some did their best to hurt others (sometime IRL) who disagreed with them. After I got sued IRL for supposed transgressions in the newsgroup by “Celeste”, I realized arguing on-line was really not worth it… The downside was a lot more than any possible upside.

    I don’t really pay much attention to T* politics these days… it’s better for my blood pressure! 😉

    Believe it or not, this summer I will be 20 years post-op! Right now my biggest concern is keeping my job at least until I can get medicare (which is only a few years away).

    Hope you and Tina are doing well.

    – Karen

  4. Suzan Says:

    I was battling alcoholism, loneliness, anger and frustration as well as resentment over the denial of marriage equality in those days. Apologizing is the least I can do to atone.

    • Suzan Says:

      For what it is worth the comment wasn’t directed solely at you as there were a number of others rubbing their legal lesbian marriages in the face of L/G folks when those marriages existed because they were heterosexual when entered into or in some cases becau7se people used their pre-op or never changed birth certificates to obtain something denied other LGBT folks.

      The other group that irked the hell out of me were post-op sisters who wanted support for their heterosexual marriages while opposing marriage equality as that would somehow make their marriages into gay marriages.

      At that point I had been part of the lesbian community for some 25 years.

      • Karen Says:

        At this point I really don’t think you need to apologize to anyone..

        I knew what shape you were not long after our run-ins back them, and that you were hurting a lot and often not sober… a number of us did. it was pretty obvious at times.

        BTW at least in my case, I originally mentioned my marriage not flaunt it, but in reference to the issue with it relative to transition. Others then used my remaining married as a way to try and invalidate me and my identity…

        I argued back about how unfair divorcing my spouse would be to her and since it was not required I would not do it.. About then is when you came into the picture IIRC … From my end was just defending myself… In general being attacked by “the community” really hurt me back then.

        Now 20+ years post transition, my spouse and I are still together and likely will be for the rest of our lives.

        I’m glad you and Tina found each other. I wish you both the best.

        -Karen

  5. Edith Pilkington Says:

    “Some transgender people may not identify as transgender, but only as male or female. In these cases, assigned sex at birth can indicate that the individual is transgender, which allows providers to offer the full range of care – such as anatomically appropriate[male anatomy is what they’re referring to regardless of how long your urethra is or how long your body has been under the influence of estradiol and progesterone] preventive screenings – that meets the individual’s needs. Data on sex assigned at birth are also useful for the development of algorithms for clinical decision support.”

    http://doaskdotell.org/ehr/toolkit/documenting-current-gender-identity-and-assigned-sex-at-birth/

    Please, understand that the paragraph above is not one written by me. It’s from The Fenway Institute and the Center of American Progress. If you read through this presentation you will realize that you are not allowed to claim that you are the sex you were reassigned to. Lambda Legal has a similar presentation which the either the word “tagged” or “flagged” is used to classify people as “transgender”. Animals in the wild are “tagged” for surveillance to be used for “research”. Most of this policy originates from UCSF, where Dr. Erica Anderson , the person mentioned in the Tablet article, works and where Maddie Deutsch and Joanne Keatley also work. They all serve Walter Bockting who said this in an interview in The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource(I don’t want to link because I want to avoid going into moderation if I can. The Body is a publication devoted to HIV/AIDS):

    “We are now recognizing that a MTF transsexual is not simply a woman, or woman may not be the best way to describe that person’s experience, but instead realize that this person is transgender.”

    He doesn’t even mention people who transition to male. If you go to the article you should be able to notice that along with all the other implications.

    • Edith Pilkington Says:

      I thought my comment got lost. I was almost relieved when I thought it had. I’m not trying to start a fight. I just can’t believe this is going on. I found my “trans advocate” doctors were keeping two sets of records on me. One they present in my portal that says I am female. One, called the History and Physical, that refers to me as a trans female is circulated among medical personnel, w/out my knowledge. I can’t tell you how sleazy I think that is. That would be a violation of medical privacy in the U K – revealing my medical history, by implication, and a criminal offense. I don’t know how these so called advocacy groups are able to promote these policies w/out notice, here in the U S.

      I could link to all this stuff and more but I won’t try to abuse Suzan and Tina’s platform. It doesn’t belong to me. I will, however link to the 1977 Model State Vital Statistics act. It clearly states:

      ” -17-
      (e) Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of (a court of corpetent jurisdiction) indicating the sex of an individual born in this State has keen changed by surgical procedure and that such individual’s name has been changed, the certificate of birth of such individual shall be amended as prescribed
      in Regulation 10.8 (e) tc reflect such changes.”

      https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/misc/mvsact77acc.pdf

      I’ve been researching this stuff intently since last June when I had an incident with medical staff at a breast imaging center. I think I was outed by my “trans friendly” primary care doctor in my History and Physical. I learned about the 1977 Vital Statistics Act, indirectly, from a paper by Lisa Motet, which did not mention it specifically. I have trouble understanding what the word “ally” is supposed to mean. Most of them seem to be my most patronizing enemies.

  6. Edith Pilkington Says:

    Interesting story.

  7. Tina Says:

    There are so many different TS/TG communities that you just cannot list them all. It really doesn’t matter what all the different “researchers” say, our only commonality is that, one way or another we were/are not happy with our birth sex (remember, “gender” comes later, and is determined by the mores current in your culture/society). WBT was not an “attempt” to divorce from the TG umbrella, as it was back in 2000 — it was/is a divorce.

    That does not indicate a denial of TG as a status for those who embrace it. It means we do not (embrace it).

    I think every new generation of TS/TG folks thinks they are either the first, or different from all those folks who preceded them. After all — today it’s different, I/we have a plan, my friends/family understand, etc., etc. Only the reality that you are really going to do IT, that it’s not a passing fancy, a “fad”, causes those folks to think twice, to come to grips with the reality of what has and will happen.

    It seems many folks begin as real firebrands – that fire goes out, or is banked, with time, experience, and the desire to live a “normal” life (whatever that is to you). Many see a measure of safety in the idea of a “TG Community”. Most leave after a while — unless they become “professional trannies” (ooh, ooh, a BAD word). That’s not a bad thing, all marginalized communities need spokespeople — even if you do not always agree with them.

    Most folks do not seem willing to deal with the racism, classism, homophobia, and even a form of sexism shown by many in the vaunted “TG Community”. It’s only on the “Day of Remembrance” that some folks mourn those they would never even have a cup of coffee with. Everyone is a member (of the TG Community) except those YOU don’t like/agree with/ look down on, etc.

    WBT said To TG – we are divorced, but I still respect you, wish you well, support you in any way I can. Also, by the way, please look at how you treat those you wish didn’t exist (come on now, be honest), and deal with the reality of sexual predators in the various TS/TG communities. I’ve never noticed anyone even approach that subject — but we all know it exists.


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